Reading and Running: SPARTAN FIT!

Hello all runners and anyone who loves a good challenge! There is a new book coming out that will: Transform your Mind. Transform Your Body.

SPARTAN FIT! by Joe De Sena

fit

JOE DE SENA is the founder and owner of the Spartan Race, as well as a living legend in endurance and adventure racing circles — he completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, raced the 140.6 miles of Lake Placid Ironman, and finished a 100-mile trail run in Vermont, all within one week.

You must be able to Commit to Grit.

And don’t worry, No Gym Required.

All you need is 31 Days. 31 days to get you ready for the change you’ve always wanted or to just give you that little push you need. DAY 1 starts NOW!

  • A 31-day workout and diet plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint — or to just get you in ultimate shape
  • Full-body workouts requiring no gym and no weights
  • How to build fitness levels from one race to the next
  • Inspiring, motivating stories of Spartans

A complete Spartan training guide, Spartan Fit! arms readers with the strength, knowledge, and grit to never question their potential again, both on and off the race course.

SpartanRace

From Ultra marathoners to beginner runners, this book is meant to help you be the best you!

“Joe DeSena is the real deal. His stories are believable, because his achievements and accomplishments are genuine. In Spartan Up! Joe delivers his message with the insight and candor that only an individual who has lived through such experiences can. A must read for anyone looking to take his performance to the next level, be it in athletics or in life.”Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author of Ultra Marathon Man

PRE-ORDER NOW!

Also use code: SPARTANBLOGGER and it will give 10% off ANY race!

If you want a free race code, you must comment below telling me why you want to race. One lucky racer will get a FREE race!

SKORA Running: Spring has Sprung, Time to Run

Hey everyone! Long time since I last wrote a post but when a sale is going on that grabs my attention, I must share the good news. SKORA is my favorite running shoe company. I truly believe they know what they are doing. They are bringing runners back to how we were meant to run: naturally.

Less is more.

Since running in my SKORA’s, I’ve never had an injury (knock on wood) and enjoy my run. There’s no pain, my shoes do well in sand, on pavement, in grass, on sidewalks, in trails and if you treat them well, they are good for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles. And for me right now, I run about 25-30 miles per week in my SKORA Phase’s

but…

Now with 40% OFF CLEARANCE, I am going to buy myself a pair of SKORA Tempo’s!

Click the banner on the side ——–>>>>>>>>

OR

Click here ————>>>>>>>>       40% OFF!

I want to be able to change shoes out, run in one pair one day and another the next. I am so excited for them to arrive. The sale goes on for three weeks!! So get a pair and run with me! The good sizes and colors go quick! Buy NOW!

If you have any questions, ask me or you can chat with someone on their website.

Happy Running!

SKORA

SKORA is a family affair.. My sister and I both wear them 🙂

5 Ways to a Tighter Tummy while Running

Some times running makes me feel like a robot… It’s the same thing over and over again. It can get kind of boring and can turn into a downward spiral. Not good. Here are some ways to change up your run for the better. These tips will keep your body and mind more engaged and working hard.

Here are some ideas!

1. Intervals: Tell yourself to sprint/run faster for a certain amount of time and then back off for a little bit with a jog or walk. Do this for your whole workout or start with just a few. Maybe pick a point in the distance and sprint to it. And repeat! Or if you want to time it, you can try and run for a minute then slow down for 30 seconds. This high intensity workout with help your body burn more calories by making it work harder. Warning: You will get tired and feel great after. Want to know why? Because after a workout like this, your body continues to work hard the rest of the day. The post-exercise effect is amazing, even while you are at rest, you will continue to keep burning calories.

2. Increase your distance: This has been happening to me a lot. I usually go out for 4 to 6 miles depending on my mood but I never push myself another half mile or mile or 2 miles. However, last week I ran 8 miles just fine! That’s 2 more than I usually do! It wasn’t even that hard. All you have to do is make sure you have extra time. But now I have the confidence to go further. Making yourself increase your mileage, even if it’s not a significant distance, will definitely burn more calories and it will prove to you that you are capable of doing more than you think.

3. Add some hills or stairs: I love to include stairs or hill training. It makes the workout so much harder. That extra incline will make your body work twice as hard, which means you will burn twice as much. I like to go to a parking garage… at times when it’s not busy… to run up it, then down it, and run up the stairs and then down the stairs. I can get it all done in a parking garage. Or if you don’t have access to that you can find stairs in many places. Hopefully, you can find a hill or even a golf course you can run on too for some hills. Your legs, core and butt will get so much stronger from this workout then just running on a flat course.

Stairs

4. Pick up those legs: High knees! High knees! This is a quick cardio burst. During your usual run, have a focus on trying to land on the balls of your feet and switching legs fast. This is kind of like interval training but instead of changing the pace of your run, you’re changing your form. You exaggerate the knee lift. And this could even improve your running form in the future. While doing this, your heart rate will be pumping, which is what you want. Do this for a minute of about 30 feet and then rest and repeat 5 – 10 times.

5. Sprint finish: This is a great way to push yourself in that last stretch. If you have a partner, race each other to the end point. In most races someone is usually right next to you and after you give it your all the whole time, you don’t want to slow down at the very end. So you need to practice having that extra push at the end. Imagine a crowd cheering you on and you’re running through the finish. It’s a great feeling to finish your run with an energy burst and fast! Then, slowly come to a jog and walk it out after. This little sprint will keep your body working. Don’t let your body get used to stopping before the finish line. That is a bad habit.

Sprint Finsih

 

Blogging For A Healthier You: 10 Reasons To Start A Blog Today

Hi everyone! So I was thinking today about how I started blogging about this time 2 years ago. Making that decision to start writing was by far one of the best things I could have done for myself. There are so many benefits of starting a blog. 

Why Blog?

Some benefits of blogging are:

1. First of all, your writing will improve. You will constantly be giving your brain a workout. One of the reasons I started to blog was because I felt like I was wasting away watching TV at night in my dorm room sophomore year. So writing keeps me creative and keeps me thinking. A blog gives you space to express yourself. 

2. When you start writing down ideas, you start doing them. You listen to what you write. I can also leave goals for myself. My readers push me because I want to try even harder to show that I am capable of achieving anything. I make sure to keep working hard. My readers push me to complete tasks. Also, you will start doing what you write! Do you want to eat healthier? Write about it! That will motivate you and make sure to keep writing about what you do in order to achieve this. Write about every step you take, include pictures and personal feelings.

3. Your blog is a journal. It’s amazing to go look at post 1 to the most recent post I’ve done. So much has changed. It’s a timeline that is really easy to access. You can view how much you have accomplished. It’s good to keep reminding yourself of how far you have come. 

4. Having a blog can open doors. You may realize how much you love writing or even discover more about yourself. Your blog could lead you to self-employment, entrepreneurship, social media, and you could meet so many people that have similar thoughts and ideas as you. You can achieve things you never thought possible. I’ve had conversations with people from all over the world just because of my blog. Without it, I would have never meet those amazing people.

5. If your blog takes off, than your dreams could come true. Making money off your blog would be amazing. If you love to write and enjoy what you do, what could be better then making money doing what you love. That’s a goal of many of us. It will never happen unless you get started today!

6. As you write about your thoughts, you create new ones. Genius ideas could come to you as you write. Writing ideas, creates ideas. Writing on your own time about whatever you want, makes you think about yourself, which is one of the best things you can do.

7. You become a world class networker. As you start your blog, you will find yourself communicating more with others and becoming an expert on how to network and make connections. People will notice you and will want to connect with you. Before you know it, you could be meeting someone that will have a huge impact on your blogging and your life. 

8. Your blog could change the lives of others. Who doesn’t want to be a role model or inspire others to achieve greatness? What you do can motivate others. I love having people email me saying thanks. It’s an amazing feeling to know that someone did something because of you.

9. Blogging creates discipline. Believe it or not but your time management skills will improve. I want to write so many posts a week so I push myself to do that. You may have one more thing to do but if it’s something you want, you will make time for it. 

10. Overall, blogging is fun and can improve your health. Writing down feelings and thoughts is a huge stress reliever. It’s another way to act when you are upset, tired, happy, nervous, etc. Blogging is fun too. A blog shouldn’t make you more stressed. If that becomes the case, then I would take a break from the blogging world. But that goes for everything in life, when it starts to become a hassle or more of chore, then I would back off. Enjoy your life and do what you want.

Love blogging

There are many reasons to start blogging so just make one. And keep at it. Even if you only have 5 viewers or 5 million viewers, keep writing. It’s never too late to express your love of something, to create your own career, to meet new people, to set goals, to make plans, and to have fun. Enjoy the experience of blogging and being a part of such a large community.

If you have any questions on getting started, ask away!

Plans For Summer: Goals & How To Achieve Them

Summer is finally here (WOOO!!), well after my one exam Tuesday I will officially be done for the semester. This summer will be dedicated to getting healthy and fit. I will try and post every week or month what workouts I am doing and what I’m eating. This will also help me stay on track for the summer because I really want to see a change.

 

Summer gives me more time to focus on my fitness goals

Summer gives me more time to focus on my fitness goals

 

I don’t think I’m fat or anything like that but it’s just time for me to be the best I can be. I do want to try to lose 5-10 pounds though. I feel like that will boost my energy significantly while I’m on the tennis court or running or doing anything! I play tennis and will be transferring in the Fall to a new university and I definitely want to show I deserve to be there. Being on a diet is different than trying to be healthy. I love my sweets but I need to cut back on these and eat a lot more of what’s good for my body.

This is so true

This is so true

This past semester I developed a different outlook on eating. I don’t eat the healthiest but I DO EAT. I realized I was still starving my body. Starving it of nutrients and vitamins. If you don’t eat foods that your body will use and just eat empty calories (like cake, cookies, chips, soda,etc.) your body is still starving. You want to feed your body with vitamin-rich foods that will help you live a better and healthier life.

Eat Clean

Eat Clean

You can write to me with questions or ask me for  workout advice. I will try and post more regularly on health topics, workouts, and motivation to keep you moving forward towards whatever goals you have set for yourself.

Best Thing Ever!

Best Thing Ever!

Set goals:

Main Goal:  I want to get in top shape for tennis. I’m going to try and play 6 times a week. I want to improve my game to feel confident that I have what it takes to be a top player.

To achieve this:

1. Run a little bit every day. I want to get into the habit of running at least a 2 – 3 mile cool down after every time I play tennis.

2.  Eat clean and eat smart.

3. Lift 3 times a week. Do some free weight workouts.

4. Jump rope and do footwork drills to improve my speed on the court.

5. Standup paddle board more. I finally went yesterday after a 2 month break and I need to do it more. It’s a great workout. It makes every large muscle group work.

Everyone should write their goals down and include a plan on how to achieve them. This is the first step to making it happen.

 

6 Healthy Tips to Bring to the Restaurant

Eating out is supposed to be fun but for some it is more stressful because they think it will mess up their diet. Don’t make it stressful. If you are dieting and want to lose weight or if you just want to maintain weight and healthy lifestyle, here are some easy tips for what to do while eating out.

1. Stay Away From The Bread. To make this step easy, tell the server not to bring any bread to your table (if your

Olive Garden Breadsticks… 150 calories per one

table agrees with this suggestion). That is the easiest solution. However, if they do  bring it, all it takes is self control. But if you are out to eat, don’t stress. If it’s your favorite bread then have a slice, just don’t have a meal of bread before your actual meal. Also, if you have a slice do not load it up with butter. Have the power to tell yourself that you don’t need the bread.

Here are some examples of the bread at restaurants in the U.S. and how many extra calories that bread contains:

  • 1 Olive Garden Garlic Breadstick with Butter: about 150 calories
  • Outback Bread Loaf with Butter: about 470 calories. Remember: Those loafs aren’t very big.
  • Small Loaf of Bread at Carrabba’s: about 500 calories and the bread dipping sauce: about 50 calories

2. Drink Water.  It’s free and has 0 calories. It’s perfect! Also, beverages can get expensive. Drink water before your meal, during, and after. Since it’s free, don’t worry about refills, drink up! It’s good to stay hydrated and to keep your stomach a little fuller. Even while you are waiting for your meal and just starring at that bread, with your stomach growling, just drink water. It will give your stomach a distraction.

3. Avoid Appetizer’s. Appetizer’s to me are pointless. Nowadays, the entree’s are so large that an appetizer seems ridiculous to get. I don’t like to go to a restaurant and be full before I get my actual meal. If you must get one, then share it. Do not eat all by yourself. So many extra calories.

4. How To Choose An Entree. Look for entree’s that are not fried and DO NOT get french fries as a side.

A healthy and delicious side choice

Look to order something that is grilled or baked. And when picking sides for your entree look for vegetables, rice,  or a side salad (with light dressing). Restaurants offer many healthy choices, you just have to be smart enough to look for them and order them. Also, if you know the restaurant that you are going to, look up the menu beforehand and you can also look up how many calories are in each item. That will prepare you for a healthy meal out.

Look for menu’s like this (this link will take you to the Carrabba’s menu)! This menu tells you the serving size, calories, total fat, carbs, and protein.

Olive Garden Venetian Chicken is a healthier entree choice

5. You Don’t Have To Eat It All… To-go box it! To-go boxes are great. Many people finish their meal because they don’t want to waste it. So now you don’t have to keep eating even when you are full. You can save your extra’s and bring them home! Eat slow and take frequent sips of water so when you feel yourself starting to get full, push your plate a little bit away from you. Don’t eat more than your body needs.

6. Share Dessert. I love dessert but after my meal, I know I don’t need to eat more. However, if you can’t resist, share it with the table! Dessert’s are usually sharing size anyways so that makes it easy. Take 2-3 bits, satisfy your sweet tooth, and be done.

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Going out is meant to be fun. So don’t get stressed out about what to eat. It’s easy to stay on track while on diet. All it takes is some smart choices. If you are wanting to lose weight, and if you want it bad enough, you will choose the healthier choices. It’s all up to you.

9 Healthy Snacks That Won’t Spoil Your Dinner

Smart snacking is the goal for many of us. We want foods to keep us on track but foods that will also satisfy that craving. The gap between lunch and dinner can be tough. And instead of overeating at dinner, we should eat snacks that help control our hunger. The best snacks contain fiber and protein. Here are a few snack options that will satisfy your hunger until dinner.

1. Peanut Butter and Apples. Apples contain Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Also, peanut butter contains protein, fiber, Vitamin E and other nutrients. Be careful on what peanut butter you buy though, some are better for you then others. Some variations to this snack are apples and cheese or bananas and peanut butter.

2. Trail Mix: Almonds, pretzels, chocolate (just a little), dried fruit, raisins. You can mix these items however you like. Make it your perfect mix. Or you could opt for a trail mix bar. Make sure your dried fruits don’t add any unnecessary sugars. I also prefer dark chocolate. Having just a little bit of dark chocolate a day can actually be healthy since it contains antioxidants. Remember to eat in moderation because nuts like almonds or walnuts contain many calories. Just eat enough to give your body the energy it needs.

3. Pretzels/Crackers with Hummus. There are a lot of different foods you can eat with hummus, veggies like carrots or cucumbers, go great too. Hummus is made of chickpeas. Chickpeas have no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and they are high in protein. Hummus is a great healthy snack to go to.

4. Fruit Salad. Making a great mix of a variety of fruits is a great meal. Pick your favorites and make a bowl. You cannot go wrong with fruit.

5. Popcorn. It is quick and easy. Also, a 100-calorie pack will keep you track. Just make sure it’s not covered in butter and salt. But popcorn kernels are actually whole grain and contain fiber so it will help you feel full longer. Also, there is more popcorn then you think in 100 calories.

6. Smoothies. These can be very low in calories and very delicious. You can throw in all your favorite fruits. I like to include orange juice and sometimes fat-free yogurt. Smoothies are fun because there is no wrong way to make one. You can use what you want and make it your own. Just if you don’t want to spoil dinner, don’t use too many ingredients because then your smoothie will big and filling.

7. Cereal with Skim Milk. Pick a cereal high in fiber and low in sugar, there are plenty of great tasting cereals that do this. They are whole grain and keep you full. And just have a little bowl. This isn’t a meal… remember it’s just a snack.

8. Toast. If you use the right kind of bread and butter this is a great choice. I love having whole wheat bread with just a little bit of butter and I finish it off by sprinkling a little bit of cinnamon sugar. But toasted bread with peanut butter is also a good choice. Just don’t douse the bread in butter and make sure to eat whole wheat bread. Another option scrambling one egg and making a quick egg sandwich using one slice of bread.

9. Fruit S’mores. Take graham crackers and replace the marshmallows with yogurt and thechocolate with fruit. So maybe slice up some strawberries and put them with vanilla yogurt in between two graham crackers. I think it would be really good to try this: Melt some chocolate morsels and make a spread to put on one graham cracker. Use a very thin layer, this will be way less chocolate then you put on a regular s’more and then use a banana slice as the marshmallow and place that between two graham crackers. You can get creative. You don’t even have to use graham crackers, maybe you would want to try vanilla wafers or a type of biscuit cracker instead of graham cracker.

Snacks can have many varieties to them. I like to find new foods that taste great together. These snacks are some of my favorites. If you have any of your own, please share them in a comment!

Crazy for Coconut Water?

Coconut water is a fairly new phenomena. I see people drinking it in class, while playing sports and after a workout. I see it everywhere!  I don’t know much about coconut water so I did some research to see what exactly all the hype is about…

What is coconut water? 

Coconut water is the liquid found inside young green coconuts before they mature… not those brown hairy coconuts that we are used to seeing in the grocery stores.

The coconut water doesn't come from coconuts that look like this

What are the benefits and nutrients?

Coconut water is 99% fat free, contains about 46 calories per serving(one cup) and low in carbohydrates. The great thing about coconut water is that it is high in Potassium. In about one cup of coconut water, you get just the same or more Potassium then in a banana. I play tennis and to help prevent cramps I eat banana’s. However, coconut water seems to get more done. It helps replenish the body with much needed electrolytes, helps the body stay hydrated, and reduces the risks of cramps. From brand to brand, nutrients vary slightly. But coconut water generally also contains Magnesium, Calcium and Sodium.

Is coconut water all natural?

Coconut water is not like your average sports drink or refreshment. Coconut water contains about 6 grams of sugar per serving, however, this sugar is an all natural sugar … not that artificial sugar that is put in most beverages and processed food.

Does coconut water contain vitamins?

Yes, coconut water does have vitamins! The main vitamins found in coconut water are Vitamin C and B Vitamins. Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system. Helping to prevent you from illness that could disrupt your daily life. Each cup of coconut water contains about 5.8 mg of Vitamin C. Also, B Vitamins help boost metabolism, which is great for the many people interested in weight loss. Some B Vitamins found in coconut water are B6, Thiamin (B1), Folate (B9), and Riboflavin (B2).

Coconut water is also a natural diuretic and contains dietary fiber.

Some examples of coconut water found in stores

Which increases urine flow. It is good to increase this because it will help to cleanse your body of toxins. Having a diet rich in fiber is also good for cleaning your system. In one cup of coconut water, there is about 3 grams of dietary fiber.

Where do I get coconut water?

It is found in many grocery stores such as Whole Foods, and you can drink it straight from the coconut! Also, before purchasing a brand(there are so many to choose from), always check out the nutrition label to make sure you are getting precisely what you are looking for.

Any other uses for coconut water?

In the past, coconut water has actually been used as a replacement for plasma in blood transfusions. This works because it is pure, accepted by the body, does not produce heat, and does not destroy red blood cells.

Coconut water seems like a good choice to me! And with it being so pure and natural, I’m sure people of all ages could give it a try. It  has many benefits to you and your body. Also, if you like the taste, just like so many other people

7 Healthy Desserts That Will Satisfy That Craving

I love dessert. After dinner, I’m guilty of looking in my freezer for ice cream or for anything sweet. This isn’t good. Especially if you are trying to lose weight and get your dream body. I have found some healthy alternatives that will satisfy your sweet tooth. These desserts seem to work for me… and they don’t ruin my eating healthy plan!

These look amazing!

1. Popsicles. Popsicles are great because they can me made by you, for you. You decide what they are made out of. And they are very easy to make. My favorite is pouring orange juice into a plastic cup and sticking it in the freezer. So good and healthy! But you can blend strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, or anything! Get creative. Try new flavors. Also, if you are all out of popsicle sticks just make an italian ice. Then eat it with a spoon once it’s frozen. It’s the same thing just not on a stick. If you don’t want to make them just go to the supermarket. Healthy popsicles are almost everywhere. If you want chocolate, go for a fudgsicle. One fudgsicle only has about 60 calories. 60 calories won’t set you back. the nutritional value isn’t much but if you have a chocolate craving this is one that won’t make you guilty. Heres the recipe of the popsicles in the picture!

2. Pudding. It will really help satisfy that chocolate craving. In one serving of sugar free Jell-O pudding there’s only 60 calories. Also, try freezing pudding to make a delicious popsicle. I enjoy eating my pudding with pretzels. If you dip the pretzel in the pudding, it’s basically like eating chocolate covered pretzels. Love it.

Parfaits are sweet, delicious and healthy!

3. Parfaits. Once again, these can be made with the ingredients you love. You pick the yogurt, fruit, granola, or anything else you would like to go in it. Parfaits are very filling and nutritious. I like to get my favorite flavor of fat-free yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and cereal (like Cheerios or Special K) for the granola. Then, I make some layers of those ingredients in a cup and eat it all up. So good. And healthy for you!

4. Jello. Jello is very low in calories. It doesn’t have much nutritional value but it has that sugar boost you are looking for. Jello is definitely a late night snack that won’t ruin your healthy diet.

5. Mousse. Chocolate, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry or any other type of mousse is sure to hit that craving. It’s so light and fluffy. It will be just what you need to fill up your stomach before bed.

Delicious Chocolate Sorbet

6. Sorbet. If you are like me and love ice cream, sorbet is not far from the taste you love. There are so many different flavors, even chocolate. All 150 calories or less. Chocolate sorbet is a great alternative to ice cream. Have a cup or sorbet instead of having a cup of ice cream. You will be saving many calories. And I am a chocolate lover so it’s nice to know I can still have something.

Angel food cake

7. Angel Food Cake. This cake is so good. If you have never tried it, I suggest you do. And you will be happy to know that it’s low in calories, probably less then 150 depending on the size of your slice. Angel food cake is delicious and very light. It won’t weigh you down.

You may love a low calorie dessert that I didn’t include in this list and that’s fine. But these are some of my favorites. I just thought of Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas! Those are also a good choice! You may like a few of these ideas but a few is all you need. You shouldn’t have to give up dessert. You only live once so don’t give up completely on foods you love. As long as they are eaten in moderation they won’t hurt you. I hope some of these will help you on your way to achieving your goal. Also, I hope I didn’t stir up any cravings but if you get one… remember to be smart about it.

Goals… Do you know yours?

Setting goals to help motivate yourself is something everyone should do. However, if your goals aren’t well thought out or defined how do you know when you reach them? Here are a few tips on setting goals.

1. Really define your goal.Don’t be vague. Say your goal is to lose weight. Well that’s great but how much weight?

This is a great way to show your success

In how much time? Is it reasonable? You have to take the time to answer these questions in order to know what you really want to do. Be very specific too, the more specific the better.

2. Write it down. Writing down your goal makes it a reality. Don’t just keep it in your head. You have to be able to see it. So then you can look at it and really start thinking about achieving that goal. Post it somewhere that you will see it everyday. Maybe your mirror or on your computer.

“Goals that are not written down are just wishes.” – Unknown

3. Mark your progress towards your goal. Show yourself that you are getting closer and not wasting your time. Take pictures, write down what you have accomplished, make it visible and tell people. It’s great to tell people because usually you tell someone you love and trust. They will be very happy and supportive to hear about your accomplishments. This will help you stay motivated to keep going.

4. You can alter your goals. If you start to realize your goal isn’t challenging enough then make it challenging. It’s no fun if it’s easy. Make yourself work! But not overwork, if you realize your goal is a little far-fetched then change it to something that is more reasonable. Or just extend the end date. But always set your goals high.

5. Have fun with it. Goals should be something that you really want. Make your goal relevant to you. It should be enjoyable seeing yourself progress towards something you are passionate about.

Goal in Life

I hope these help when you set your next goal. It’s never too late to make goals and you can never have too many goals. Keep shooting for the moon because even if you miss… you will land among the stars!